Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. Today it was once again time to put the summer wheels on my 9000 and change the oil; I decided it was time to visit my local dealer. This visit was long overdue– I had not seen the guys for at least a week, maybe even two.
I usually try to catch a few words with one of their veteran sales persons there. Anders has held the fort since the mid-90s. He was head hunted by the local Opel dealer as they managed to snap up the Saab franchise following GM’s take-over of Saab. They needed someone on their team with proper Saab knowledge and roots. Who better than a born and raised second generation Saab salesman?
Anders has sold six new 9-5s in our borough. Two linears, two vectors and two aeros– one of these to me. Today he was putting together an offer for a 9-5 SportCombi. The customer in question wants the works: 2.8T, navigation, metallic, etc. “Adaptive cruise control?” I asked.
“Yes, of course” Anders replied. I was impressed. A week ago I was completely unaware that adaptive cruise control would finally feature on the 2012 9-5s, and now someone was already requesting it.
A year ago, in June, Anders and I picked features for for my fjord blue 9-5. Things were very different back then. Saab’s website was incomplete and one of the snags that caught me was the auto-tiltdown action on the side mirrors. You need memory seats for that to work, and I don’t think they corrected their website to reflect that until December. I’m still extremely pleased with the result, and it’s an incredible car and one of the first BioPower versions of the MY11 9-5.
Speaking of the works, recently a reader in Radu, Romania e-mailed the SU team. Last week he took delivery of a fully loaded 9-5 2.8T. He wanted to know if he had made a mistake, trusting Saab. I answered “No.” Actually, what I really answered was:
I think the answer to your question depends on yourself. How long do you plan on keeping this car? As someone who grew up with Saabs, of course I am worried about their future. Fear, uncertainty and doubt is at full play. But Saabs have saved both myself and members of my family several times. We would probably be resting underneath the soil had we chosen any different brand. I am willing to take a potential monetary loss on my new 9-5 — it is the least I could do in return!
Money, although an important factor in many of our lives, isn’t everything. You can’t take it with you to the grave. What you can do is pass your spoils on to the next generation. What better treasure, 20 years from now, than a very rare Saab 9-5? (assuming in the unlikliest case that the worst happens) Remember: all art is cheap and uninteresting until the artist buys the farm. And the 9-5 is one heckuva piece of fine art!
With this idea fresh in mind, I asked Anders what to expect from a worst-case scenario. “Why are you worried? You bought your car from us,” he told me. “It is this dealership’s problem to cover your warranty claims regardless of Saab’s fate.” Good to know. It is safe to buy a Saab in Sweden at least, and given the guarantees in the US Saab customers should feel just as comfortable plunking down the cash for a new one.
The hardest question I have ever faced surfaced back in December 2009 as I felt the last opportunity to order a new Saab was quickly deteriorating in front of my eyes. I put everything on blind faith and decided to wait. That new 9-5 was just too delicious to pass up, even if it meant possibly missing out on one of the last 9-3s to be made. In light of that, Radu’s question found me somewhat unprepared. In case Saab disappears tomorrow, make sure you have at least one new Saab in your garage. This is my advice to all of you.